Crabtree: stray animals are a problem

By Ivy Potter

Commissioner Mike Crabtree spoke on the issue of animals, specifically dogs, at large during Thursday’s Scioto County Commissioner meeting.

“Somehow or another people within the county seem to think it’s our responsibility as commissioners to solve the problem we have with a tremendous amount of dogs running loose in Scioto County,” said Crabtree. He stated that from his personal experience he sees 3-5 dogs running loose alongside roadways when driving around the county, despite the leash law. “We don’t have a magic wand down here where we can wave that magic wand and solve the problem with the dogs. As commissioners everything we do is controlled by the Ohio Revised Code, and we do have a job here. Now if I was to take on responsibility to try to solve all the stray dogs in Scioto County, I’ll tell you one road alone (US) 52 from the Adam’s County line to Lawrence County line is 38 miles, and takes a long time to drive that. Can you imagine trying to patrol the entire county?”

Crabtree stated he owned several dogs that were formerly stray and cares for several cats on his property. “I care for my dogs, and I love animals just like anyone else, but a lot of people seem to think we’re heartless as commissioners and we don’t care about the issues with dogs in Scioto County, but whatever they’re thinking, they’re full of it because that is absolutely not true.”

Crabtree said it was the responsibility of owners to keep their animals safe.

“People need to take responsibility for their animals and keep them tied, because too many of them are getting killed on the road and a lot are being dropped off and get bewildered and get hit by cars. I don’t know how you’re going to solve a problem like that without revenue and there isn’t a revenue stream for that. We put a lot of money into caring for the stray dogs in Scioto County and we don’t get enough out of licensing fees to cover it,” Crabtree said. “We have a lot of people come to us from time to time and don’t seem to understand that there isn’t a quick fix for this and we don’t have the answer. We do the best we can with our own animals and we try to encourage others to do the same. They should do the same. You shouldn’t get an animal if you can’t take care of it. You don’t drop it off when they get out of the puppy stage. You wait until you find it a good home if you don’t want it, but you don’t go around pointing fingers because everyone in Scioto County has a little bit of responsibly for this and we do as much as we can with the funding we have.”

Other matters of business conducted during the meeting included the acceptance of correspondence from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office requesting approval to purchase four 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe Police Special Sports Utility Vehicles, and five 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles, and the designation of Oct. 31 as the 2019 Trick or Treat Night in the county between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m.

Commissioners also stated that with the help of State Representative Brian Baldridge and State Senator Joe Uecker, the Shawnee State Park Golf Course will remain open this year.

“We have gotten ourselves a little bit of time to figure out a solution, whether that be state, state/private, or solely private. We really need to have a conversation with ODNR to really figure out what they’re thinking and work with them to come up with a long term situation so we aren’t staring this in the face a year from now,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “Time is of the essence. I want to publically say I really appreciate representative Baldrige and Senator Uecker going to bat. I know they had a meeting with ODNR and after that meeting is when ODNR announced that the golf course would remain open.”

Davis stated he hopes to partner with ODNR to find the best solution to keep the course operating.

By Ivy Potter